In the ever-changing realm of business, marketing has remained a pivotal function, serving as the bridge between companies and their consumers. For those who are just stepping into this exciting industry, the journey can seem both intriguing and overwhelming. Don’t sweat it. This in-depth guide to careers in marketing will shed light on the broad spectrum of opportunities within the marketing industry, and equip you with the knowledge and tools to land your dream marketing job.
Table of Contents
What exactly is a marketing job?
To start, let’s define marketing. Marketing is the process of creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers through the promotion and exchange of goods, services, or ideas.
Marketing jobs involve a broad array of roles that center around promoting products or services to increase brand visibility, engage with customers, and drive business growth.
Whether working within traditional media, like TV or magazines, or the rapidly evolving digital landscape, marketing professionals have the power to shape public perception, influence consumer behavior, and ultimately determine the success or failure of a product or service.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of marketing managers is projected to grow 10% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. Now’s a better time than ever to consider starting a career in marketing!
Types of Marketing Jobs
Marketing is a diverse field, teeming with numerous specializations. Just search for “marketing jobs near me” and you’ll likely see dozens, if not hundreds, of job titles. Here are some of the more common types of jobs in marketing you might encounter:
Account Management: Account managers serve as the main point of contact between clients and the company. They nurture client relationships, ensure customer satisfaction, and coordinate with internal teams to deliver on client objectives.
Advertising Operations (Ad Ops): Ad Ops specialists oversee the delivery and optimization of advertising campaigns. They work closely with advertisers, manage ad servers, troubleshoot technical issues, and analyze campaign performance.
Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketers promote products or services and earn a commission for each sale or lead generated through their referral. This involves managing affiliate partnerships, tracking performance, and optimizing strategies for increased revenue.
Brand Management: Brand managers shape a brand’s identity, establish guidelines, and ensure all marketing efforts align with the brand’s message. They monitor market trends, oversee marketing campaigns, and analyze brand performance.
Brand Partnerships: Professionals in this field identify, negotiate, and manage strategic partnerships that can enhance a brand’s visibility and market reach. They work to create mutually beneficial collaborations that align with the brand’s objectives.
Content Marketing: Content marketers create and distribute valuable content to attract and engage a clearly defined audience, with the goal of driving profitable customer action. They develop content strategies, manage content creation, and measure content effectiveness.
Digital Marketing: Digital marketers utilize online and digital channels, including websites, social media, and email, to drive traffic, engage with audiences, and convert visitors into customers.
Email Marketing: This role involves creating and executing targeted email campaigns to engage with customers, drive conversions, and retain existing customers. This includes designing promotional materials, personalizing customer communications, and analyzing campaign performance.
Growth Marketing: Growth marketers focus on accelerating business growth. They test and optimize every stage of the customer journey, from acquisition and activation to retention and referral. Their goal is to drive sustainable long-term growth.
Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketers collaborate with influencers to reach and engage with new audiences. They manage influencer partnerships, coordinate campaigns, and analyze influencer performance.
Marketing Analytics: Professionals in this field analyze data to gauge marketing campaign performance and make informed decisions. They use data analytics tools to track metrics, interpret trends, and provide insights to improve marketing strategies.
Marketing Strategist: Marketing strategists develop and implement comprehensive marketing strategies to achieve business objectives. They conduct market research, analyze trends, and guide marketing efforts to ensure they align with the company’s goals.
Media Buying: Media buyers negotiate and purchase media inventory for advertising purposes. They analyze media trends, optimize ad spend, and ensure ads reach the target audience at the right time and place.
PPC Management: PPC (Pay-Per-Click) managers oversee paid ad campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads. They manage ad creation, budget allocation, bid management, and performance analysis to maximize ROI.
Product Marketing: Product marketers bridge the gap between product development and sales. They understand customer needs, position products in the market, and drive demand through effective marketing strategies.
Project Management: Marketing project managers coordinate marketing projects from conception to completion. They define project scope, allocate resources, manage timelines, and ensure projects are delivered on time and within budget.
Social Media Marketing: Social media marketers use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect with audiences, enhance brand image, and promote products or services. They create engaging content, manage community interactions, and track platform-specific metrics.
A Deep Dive into Key Marketing Roles
Within every specialization in marketing, there are numerous marketing roles. These range from entry-level to senior marketing positions. Let’s delve deeper into some popular roles within the marketing industry for people with less than 5 years of experience:
Digital Marketing Specialist: As a digital marketing specialist, you’ll develop and implement strategies to promote a company’s products or services across digital channels. Digital marketing jobs often involve a mix of search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, social media management, and more. With businesses increasingly recognizing the power of a strong online presence, this role is in high demand.
Email Marketing Manager: An email marketing manager designs email campaigns to engage with subscribers, drive conversions, and build long-term customer relationships. They manage the email database, segment audiences based on behavior and demographics, and analyze campaign metrics to refine their email strategy. With the ROI of email marketing continuing to outperform other digital marketing channels, this role is crucial in any business aiming for growth.
Affiliate Marketer: Affiliate marketers build and maintain partnerships that drive business results. By promoting a company’s products or services, they earn commissions based on the sales or leads generated through their referrals. They use various strategies like SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing to reach potential customers.
Content Marketing Manager: Content marketing managers oversee all content marketing initiatives across multiple platforms and formats. The goal is to drive engagement, retention, leads, and positive customer behavior. They’re responsible for creating an overarching content strategy, managing a content team, and measuring the effectiveness of content marketing efforts.
Social Media Coordinator: Social media coordinators manage a brand’s presence across various social platforms. They create engaging content, interact with followers, and analyze social media performance to optimize future strategies. With social media’s influence continuing to grow, this role is vital in today’s digital age.
Product Marketing Manager: The product marketing manager serves as a bridge between the product development and sales teams. They’re responsible for understanding customer needs, positioning products in the market, and driving demand through effective marketing strategies. If you have a blend of technical and marketing skills, this could be a great fit.
Marketing Analytics Specialist: As a marketing analytics specialist, your job would be to gather and analyze data across multiple marketing channels. By understanding data, these professionals provide insights into customer behavior, market trends, and campaign effectiveness, helping businesses make data-driven decisions and refine their marketing strategies.
Growth Marketer: A growth marketer is a unique role that focuses on the growth of a business through a mix of marketing, data analysis, and experimentation. They look at the entire customer funnel to find opportunities for growth, from customer acquisition and activation to retention and referral. This role is particularly relevant in startups and tech companies seeking rapid growth.
Brand Manager: A brand manager’s job is to manage and protect the image of a brand. They are responsible for understanding what makes the company’s target audience tick and crafting marketing strategies that enhance the brand’s image, build customer loyalty, and drive sales. This role requires a mix of creativity and analytics, and it’s pivotal in larger businesses with a strong brand presence.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Specialist: A PPC specialist manages internet pay-per-click advertising campaigns, including the strategy, design, implementation, SEO, and analysis of ad performance. With businesses increasingly spending on online advertising, PPC specialists are in high demand.
Each of these roles plays a unique part in a comprehensive marketing strategy, and they all offer different paths for career progression within the marketing field. According to salary.com, the average Marketing Manager salary in the US in 2023 is $115,228. This accounts for various types of marketing manager jobs. To get a sense of what various marketing roles entail, check our marketing career guides or read in-depth job descriptions on our job board.
Remote Marketing Jobs: The Future of Work
In recent years, the concept of remote work has gained significant momentum, and the marketing industry is no exception. Remote marketing jobs offer professionals the flexibility to work from anywhere, breaking free from the confines of a traditional office environment. Here’s what you need to know about remote marketing jobs and how they are shaping the future of work:
Advantages of Remote Marketing Jobs:
Flexibility: Remote marketing jobs offer flexibility with your schedule and you generally can work from the comfort of your preferred location, whether it’s your home, a co-working space, or a coffee shop.
Work-Life Balance: Remote work can help you achieve a better work-life balance by eliminating long commutes and giving you more control over your time.
Increased Productivity: Many remote marketers report higher levels of productivity and focus, as they have fewer distractions and can structure their work environment to suit their needs.
Popular Remote Marketing Job Roles:
Remote Digital Marketer: Digital marketing encompasses various roles, such as SEO specialists, social media managers, content creators, and email marketers. These roles often lend themselves well to remote work, as they primarily rely on online tools and platforms.
Remote Content Writer: Content writing is a highly sought-after remote marketing job. Companies need talented writers to create engaging blog posts, articles, website copy, and marketing materials.
Remote Social Media Manager: Social media management is a role that can be effectively performed remotely. Social media managers develop strategies, create content, engage with audiences, and analyze performance metrics.
Remote SEO Specialist: Search engine optimization is critical for businesses to improve their online visibility. SEO specialists work remotely to optimize websites, conduct keyword research, and analyze data to enhance search engine rankings.
Remote Work Considerations:
Self-Discipline and Time Management: Remote work requires self-motivation and strong time management skills to stay focused and meet deadlines.
Effective Communication: Clear and timely communication becomes even more crucial in a remote work setting. Utilize tools like email, video conferencing, and project management software to stay connected with your team and clients.
Establishing a Productive Work Environment: Create a dedicated workspace at home or wherever you choose to work remotely. Minimize distractions and set boundaries to maintain a professional and focused work environment.
Embracing Technology: Remote work heavily relies on technology tools and software. Familiarize yourself with project management platforms, collaboration tools, communication apps, and analytics software relevant to your role.
Finding Remote Marketing Job Opportunities:
Online Job Boards: Utilize remote-specific job boards and websites that specialize in marketing roles to find remote job opportunities. Some popular platforms include Remote.co, FlexJobs, and the marketHER job board.
Networking and Freelancing Platforms: Build a strong professional network on platforms like LinkedIn and connect with other marketing professionals. Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr also offer remote marketing gigs.
Direct Company Applications: Research companies that embrace remote work and directly explore their career pages or reach out to their HR departments regarding remote marketing opportunities.
Skills Needed for a Successful Marketing Career
Regardless of the specific role you aim for, certain skills are widely sought after in the marketing field. Here are some of the key skills that can contribute to a successful marketing career:
Creativity: At its core, marketing is about connecting with audiences in innovative ways. Creativity can help you develop compelling campaigns, write engaging content, design eye-catching visuals, and think outside the box to solve problems.
Communication: Clear and effective communication is crucial in marketing. Whether it’s writing persuasive copy, delivering a pitch, or collaborating with a team, your ability to express ideas clearly will be key to your success.
Analytical Thinking: Modern marketing is data-driven. The ability to analyze data and extract meaningful insights can help you understand your audience, measure campaign performance, and make informed decisions.
Technical Skills: Depending on your role, various technical skills might be necessary. These could include proficiency in SEO, PPC, email marketing platforms, social media tools, content management systems, and data analytics software.
Project Management: Marketing often involves juggling multiple projects at once. Good organizational skills and the ability to manage timelines, resources, and teams can ensure projects are delivered on time and on target.
Understanding of Consumer Behavior: A successful marketer understands their audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. A solid grasp of consumer psychology can help you create strategies that resonate with your audience and drive conversions.
Adaptability: The marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Being adaptable and willing to learn can help you stay on top of industry trends, adapt to changes, and continuously improve your strategies.
Strategic Thinking: Good marketers see the big picture. They can set goals, develop comprehensive strategies, and understand how different marketing components work together to achieve business objectives.
By building and refining these skills, you can make yourself a valuable asset in the marketing field and navigate your way towards your desired marketing role.
How to Get Started in a Marketing Career
Entering the marketing industry can seem challenging, but with the right approach, you can kickstart your career effectively. Here are some steps to consider:
Understand the Field: Start by familiarizing yourself with the basics of marketing, its different facets, and the various roles available. This article is a good starting point, but consider expanding your knowledge through books, online courses, webinars, and industry blogs.
Identify Your Interests: Marketing is a broad field. Consider which aspects of marketing excite you the most. Do you enjoy writing and creating content? Or perhaps you’re more interested in analyzing data and trends? Understanding your interests can guide you towards the roles and specializations that best suit you.
Get Educated: While a degree in marketing isn’t always necessary, it can provide a solid foundation of knowledge. There are also many online courses that can help you learn specific skills like SEO, PPC, content marketing, and more. Certifications from reputable sources, like HubSpot, can bolster your resume and demonstrate your commitment to learning.
Gain Experience: Hands-on experience is invaluable in the marketing world. Internships, part-time jobs, or even volunteering can provide practical experience. You might also consider creating your own marketing projects or starting a blog to apply what you’ve learned and build a portfolio.
Network: Networking can open up opportunities and provide valuable insights from experienced professionals. Attend industry events, join online forums, participate in LinkedIn groups, or reach out to professionals for informational interviews. We recommend connecting with the women from our HERstory interview series!
Keep Learning: The marketing industry evolves rapidly. Keep up with the latest trends, tools, and best practices. Continuous learning and adaptability are key to staying relevant and advancing in your career. Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly industry updates in your inbox.
Apply for Jobs: Once you’ve built up your skills and gained some experience, start applying for entry level marketing jobs. Tailor your resume to highlight relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. And remember, everyone starts somewhere – don’t get disheartened if you face rejection initially.
Starting a career in marketing can be a rewarding journey filled with opportunities for creativity, problem-solving, and growth. Let’s talk about you land the job you really want.
How to Land Your Dream Marketing Job
Once you’ve identified the type of marketing job you’d like to pursue and have built up your skills and knowledge, the next step is to land that dream job. Here are some strategies to help you do just that:
Craft a Strong Resume: Your resume is your first chance to make a good impression on potential employers. Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments, and always tailor them to the specific job you’re applying for.
Build an Online Presence: In today’s digital world, employers often look at a candidate’s online presence before making a hiring decision. Having a professional LinkedIn profile is a must, and a personal website or portfolio can further showcase your skills and experience.
Network: Networking can lead to job opportunities and give you valuable insights about companies and roles you’re interested in. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people in your desired field on LinkedIn.
Gain Relevant Experience: Relevant experience in the field can greatly increase your chances of getting hired. Seek internships, volunteer opportunities, or freelance work that aligns with your career goals. This not only builds your resume but also helps you confirm your interest in a particular role.
Stay Informed About the Industry: Being knowledgeable about current industry trends and challenges shows employers that you’re serious about your career in marketing. Read industry publications, attend webinars, and follow thought leaders on social media.
Prepare for Interviews: Research common marketing interview questions and practice your answers. During the interview, be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge about the company and the industry, as well as your enthusiasm for the role.
Show Your Creativity and Analytical Skills: Marketing is both a creative and data-driven field. Use your resume, cover letter, and interview opportunities to demonstrate your creative thinking and your ability to use data to inform decisions.
Follow Up: After an interview, be sure to send a thank you note to express your appreciation for the opportunity. This not only shows your professionalism but also keeps you top of mind as employers make their decisions.
Marketing jobs offer a lot of opportunities once you get started. Let’s take a look at what career progressions can look like.
Career Progression in Marketing
The marketing industry is rich with opportunities for career advancement. By understanding potential pathways and taking proactive steps, you can progress in your marketing career and achieve your long-term goals. Here’s what typical career progression in marketing might look like:
Entry-Level Roles: Most marketing professionals start in entry-level roles such as Marketing Assistant, Junior SEO Specialist, Content Creator, Social Media Coordinator, or similar positions. These roles offer an introduction to the marketing field and provide hands-on experience. For example, you may start your career as a Social Media Coordinator, providing you valuable hands-on experience managing a company’s social media presence. You’ll learn how to craft engaging posts, interact with your audience and monitor the impact of different strategies, all of which will be instrumental in your career progression.
Mid-Level Roles: After gaining some experience, you might progress to roles like Marketing Coordinator, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, Content Manager, or Digital Marketing Specialist. In these roles, you’d likely have more responsibilities, including managing projects or small teams.
Senior-Level Roles: With further experience and proven results, you could step into senior roles such as Marketing Manager, SEO Manager, Brand Manager, or Digital Marketing Manager. These roles typically involve strategic planning, larger budgets, and managing larger teams. Consider the role of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, in shaping the company’s strategic direction. Her marketing experience played a key role in driving user growth and establishing Facebook as a dominant player in the social media market.
Leadership Roles: Ultimately, you might aim for leadership positions like Director of Marketing, VP of Marketing, or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). These roles involve making high-level strategic decisions, managing sizable teams, and driving the overall marketing direction of the company. Take the example of Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike. With his innovative marketing strategies, such as celebrity endorsements and empowering slogans like ‘Just Do It,’ he turned Nike into a globally recognized brand.
The exact pathway can vary widely depending on the size and type of company, the industry, and your own skills and interests. Some marketers might choose to specialize in a certain area, becoming highly skilled experts, while others might prefer a more generalist route with a broad range of experience.
Here are a few strategies to help you progress in your marketing career:
Continuous Learning: The marketing field evolves rapidly. Regularly updating your skills and knowledge can help you stay relevant and open up new opportunities. This might involve attending industry conferences, taking advanced courses, or earning professional certifications.
Networking: Building relationships with other marketing professionals can lead to new opportunities and provide valuable insights. Consider joining professional organizations, attending networking events, and connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn.
Mentorship: A mentor can provide guidance, feedback, and advice to help you navigate your career. This could be a manager, a more experienced colleague, or a professional you connect with through networking or a formal mentorship program.
Results: Ultimately, demonstrating results is key to advancing in a marketing career. This might involve meeting or exceeding your KPIs, successfully managing campaigns or projects, or finding innovative ways to drive growth.
Remember, everyone’s career path is unique, and success looks different for everyone. Define your own career goals, and pursue them with passion and persistence. Whether you dream of becoming a CMO, a highly skilled SEO specialist, or a freelance digital marketer, there’s a path for you in the diverse field of marketing.
Expert Tips and Insights for a Successful Marketing Career
Now that we’ve gone over the different types of marketing jobs, the steps to get started, and the potential career progression, let’s dive into some expert advice to help you excel in your marketing career.
Keep Up with Industry Trends: Marketing is a constantly evolving field. Staying updated with the latest trends, tools, and technologies can help you stay competitive and innovative. Regularly read marketing blogs, listen to podcasts, and follow industry thought leaders on social media.
Understand Your Audience: Regardless of your role in marketing, understanding your target audience is crucial. It’s all about creating and promoting products or services that meet their needs and wants. Learn how to conduct market research, create customer personas, and use data to understand customer behavior. A good case study here is Netflix’s use of data to understand their viewers’ preferences. This led to the creation of House of Cards, their first major original series. By analyzing viewer data, Netflix knew that a political drama starring Kevin Spacey directed by David Fincher would be well-received.
Embrace Data: Marketing decisions should be data-driven. Being comfortable with analyzing and interpreting data can help you understand what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve. As an example, Airbnb uses data extensively to understand market trends, user behavior, and booking patterns. This data-driven approach allows them to optimize their offerings and marketing efforts effectively.
Hone Your Communication Skills: Effective communication is key in marketing. Whether it’s crafting compelling content, presenting a marketing strategy to your team, or networking with other professionals, your ability to convey ideas clearly and effectively can set you apart.
Be Creative and Innovative: Creativity is at the heart of marketing. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and bring fresh ideas to the table. Innovation often leads to the most successful marketing campaigns.
Develop a Growth Mindset: Marketing involves a lot of testing, learning, and iterating. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they’re often your biggest learning opportunities. For example, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, often talks about the importance of embracing failure as a way to learn and grow. Her growth mindset was instrumental in turning her idea into a billion-dollar business.
Value Collaboration: Marketing is often a collaborative effort. Valuing teamwork, building good relationships, and knowing how to collaborate effectively can make you a stronger marketer and contribute to your career success.
Seek Mentorship and Feedback: Learning from others can greatly accelerate your career progression. Seek mentors who can provide guidance and be open to feedback to help you grow.
Pursue Continuous Learning: Whether it’s acquiring a new skill, earning a professional certification, or attending a marketing seminar, lifelong learning can open up new opportunities and help you stay relevant in your career. HubSpot’s Academy offers free online marketing courses that cover everything from search to social media marketing, proving an excellent resource for those looking to continuously update their skills.
Follow Your Passion: Lastly, find what aspect of marketing truly excites you. When you’re passionate about your work, it will not only be more enjoyable but also likely lead to greater success.
These expert tips should help guide your journey as you navigate your way towards a rewarding career in marketing. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all path in marketing – forge your own unique path that aligns with your skills, interests, and career goals.